Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Intarwebtubes Make You Stupid

Internetter 1: "Here is something interesting I found or perhaps a unique perspective on an observation."

Internetter 2: "That thing also interests me, and here is a comment about how I agree or disagree with your statement."

Internetter 3: "I think one or maybe both of you are wrong, and I can't possibly conceive of why your opinions differ from mine."

Internetter 1: "Instead of taking the time to address the points of either of your arguments, I will dissect your grammar and nitpick your choice of words, thus rendering your opinions invalid."

Internetter 2: "I will also avoid the original topic and will speculate on your sexuality, relationship with your parents, and your masturbatory habits."


Internetter 1: "Arguing on the internet is beneath me, and I refuse to take part in these childish ramblings, except to say that you are both dickweeds, I hate you, and fuck off."

Internetter 2: "Your avoidance of the issue at hand has frustrated me to the point of trying to find a parallel between what you have said and what Hitler and the Nazis might have believed. If you don't find this relevant, then you can bite my ass."

Internetter 3: "I FUCKED YOUR MOM!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sad in Pants

Religassholes like this make me sad in my spiritual pants.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Grow Up Faster

My brother turned ten years old. "Double digits," my mother said. "We'll should have bought a bigger cake to fit all these candles on!" I was jealous. I was still counting my birthday in this-manys.

"It's like Quantum Leap!" my step-father exclaimed. "You're growing up fast!" I was growing up, too, but it was just taking so long. My seventh birthday wouldn't be for another three months. That's three forevers in kid years.

My brother's tenth birthday was a big milestone in my life because that is the first time I can remember wanting to be older, to grow up faster -- a wish I now regret ever making.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Wishful Thinking

So, I went to 7-11 the other day looking for condoms. Wishful thinking, I guess. Anyway, I'm in the ailse with the medicines and tampons and stuff, and there's no condoms. I mean, this is 7-11. How convenient is it to not have any condoms in a convenience store?

So, I must have looked confused because the lady behind the counter asked me if I was looking for something. "Do you guys sell any condoms?"

"Yeah, I have them back here," she said reaching behind the counter.

She plopped down a big brown box in front of herself. "Wow," I said, "a whole crate? I'll take it!" She chuckled and I sidled up to counter and peered into the box. There were several dozen three-packs of all different kinds. I was kind of overwhelmed and a little embarassed of having to pick out my condoms in front of a stranger. "So many to chose from. Which do you recommend?"

"Well, uh, I don't know..."

"Sorry," I said, "that's a pretty creepy question."

"No, it's just that I have a girlfriend, so I really wouldn't know."

"Oh, well, there ya go."

So, the story ends with me not buying any condoms there, because obviously a three-pack won't be enough.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Emotion Store

Mr. McBastard: why do you hate me?
Stellar: I don't hate you, I love you
Mr. McBastard: love me with hate!
Stellar: Nope, just love. I've tried hating you before, but it never worked
Mr. McBastard: you should have taken it back to the store and gotten a refund
Stellar: I did, but all they would do was give me store credit, and all they had in stock was love
Mr. McBastard: *rolls eyes*

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

The web comic garfield minus garfield is not just a parody of the famous Jim Davis newspaper strip, subtracting the titular beloved cat. It somehow transcends it's gimmick and intriguingly becomes an eerily accurate portrayal of the pathetic and lonely life of a hopelessly single man. To put it simply: It is pure genius!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Oil vs Ethanol

I didn't even think of the most obvious downside to relying too heavily on ethanol instead of oil.

So, what relying on ethanol gives us:

  • Less dependence on foreign oil (making oil less expensive) BUT
    • Increased water consumption (making water more expensive)
    • Increased costs in feeding livestock (making meat more expensive)
    • Less corn available for food (making corn more expensive)
  • "Cleaner" car exhaust (debatable) BUT
    • More fuel production plants (who knows what their by-products are?)
  • Increased "consumer confidence" in an American market BUT
    • Reliance on just as unsustainable a practice as relying on oil

Why don't we focus on the root of the problem -- consuming less fuel -- instead of developing quick fixes?

Long-term fixes:

  • Don't bargain with OPEC to get them to sell us cheap oil (if people realize that it IS expensive, maybe they'll stop using so much)
  • Promote using less fuel (if there was an iPod equivalent to a fuel-efficient car, you bet your ass people would want them)
  • Tax breaks for those using less fuel, and increased taxes for those that want to use ridiculously more car than they need
  • Limit the population increase in the US (less people, less consumers) -- a personal favorite, but not likely to go over well

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


My once-and-present roommate and I sat next to the chimenea, I sipping on my Drambuie and Bushmills, and he tossing twigs into the blaze. The flames danced, the wood smoked, and the fire crackled, as fires are wont to do. The chimenea and my roommate took turns spitting, one, glowing embers, and the other, tobacco-flavored saliva from the dip bulging against his bottom lip.

We talked about where we were, where we were going, and why we were disappointed about not being there yet. In the silence in between words we'd alternately wonder at the complexities of the chemical reaction belching heat at us and at the expanse of the semi-obscured star field above. We discussed little, mostly rehashing previous days and past themes, and ultimately accomplished nothing. And I felt remorse that I hadn't accomplished more nothing in recent days.

But a me from the past -- whether distant or recent, I couldn't tell -- snuck up on me, shaking his head and signing, so disappointed. Why wasn't I what he'd envisioned by now? He'd had such high hopes for me; why had I dashed them? Had he worked in vain? Had he taught me nothing?

A cigarette glowed like a beacon, a warning, so close to my fingers and an inch from my lips. I flicked it into the flames and watched as it was eaten.

Would my future self disappoint me? I've got so many plans and ideas. Would he live up to my --

A reprimand shot back from the future and struck my cheek. Why don't you mind your own business and pay attention to what's happening around you? I've got enough to deal with up here without you bitching and moaning about how I'm not doing what you'd hoped. Did you ever think that maybe you are a disappointment to me?

I hadn't.

I lit another cigarette. I took another drag. I drank another swallow. I looked up at the sky and down at the fire. And I accomplished nothing. And I smiled.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Good Bad Haircut

I don't like getting haircuts. It's not that I don't like the physical act of getting my hair cut -- I actually find it pretty calming, as long as the barber isn't trying to make me talk about whatever inane subject they happen to care about -- it's the result of the haircut that I'm not a fan of. Basically, every time I get my haircut I feel as though I'm paying someone to make me look stupider.

My hair and I have an interesting relationship. For the most part, I let him do his thing, and he lets me do mine. I water and bathe him regularly, and he ... Well, I'm not sure what he does for me besides keep my head warm, but I'm usually not too worried about.

I like to have my hair short in the summer and shaggy and curly for the rest of the year. When it gets too shaggy it starts to tickle my neck, so I know it's time for a haircut. This is where things start to go wrong.

I guess it's because I don't know the hair lingo, because when I say something to the barber about how I want my hair to look, they promptly ignore me and give me whatever the fuck haircut they feel like. I say something like "Cut the back, but leave the top long," or "Just trim up around my neck and ears." Invariably, I come away with about an inch of hair on the top and half that in the back.

I guess barbers just want to give my my money's worth by making my hair short enough that I don't have to come in for another three months. But seriously, I wanted shaggy hair. It might not be the best hairstyle, but it's what I wanted, and it took me a while to grow it out that way. Now it's short and I look like a tool. Thanks, barber. Here's your fifteen bucks.

So, exasperated by all of this, I went to a barber yesterday. I plopped down in the seat, and when she asked me how I'd like my haircut, instead of going through the whole rigmarole -- telling her what I wanted, her not caring, me smiling into the mirror and saying, "It looks pretty good," when I actually am wondering where all my hair went, and then paying her -- I just said, "Eh, just make it shorter."

I think she caught on that I have no idea what kind of haircut would make me look good. So, instead of asking me the regular barber questions that I never know how to answer ("What clipper guard do you want me to use?" or "Do you want a block or taper in the back?"), she told me what she was going to do. She looked at my head, ran her hair through my mop, and made expert decisions instead of leaving it up to me. She told me that I should cut the back to just under an inch because that's when it starts to get wavy. She told me I should get it tapered in the back because it matches my hairline. She told me that I should cut my sideburns to half-way down my ear to not hide my jawline. I just sat back and said, "That sounds good."

So, when all was said and done, I walked away not with the haircut that I wanted, but what I do have does look pretty good for what it is. I'd have to say that it's one of the better bad haircuts that I've gotten.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

White Rice

My roommates gave me guff at dinner for putting soy sauce on my rice. Granted, it was already buttered, but if you're not supposed to put soy sauce on plain, white rice, what are you supposed to put it on? What else is it good for?

But I guess I shouldn't be too worried as this hullabaloo came from a guy who has a phobia of drinking milk with pasta and another guy who uses cream of mushroom soup as a major ingredient in almost everything he cooks.

So, am I the weird one? Anyone have anything weirder that they do with their food?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Google Reader

I've been using Google Reader for a couple months now. It's a decent feed reader, and it fits into my recent trend of trying anything and everything web-based. (I dabble with Google Docs and I love Pandora.)

My only complaint with Google Reader is the search functionality. Despite there being advanced search operators in every other type of Google search, there is no such functionality in the Google Reader search. Even in Gmail, which relies on the same concept of starred items and using labels instead of folders, one can search for items with multiple labels. For example, in Gmail I could search for is:starred label:family "visit Joe" if I wanted to find all messages that were starred, had the family label applied, and contained the text "visit Joe."

This is not possible in Google Reader. It is possible to search for a certain text string within all of one given label or within the starred items, but not both at the same time, and not multiple labels at once. I can't understand why the Reader designers didn't include this functionality.

I'm sure it's not as easy as cutting and pasting the code from the Gmail search, but it can't be too hard, can it? Or is this just a feature that they didn't think to implement, despite Reader following the exact same label/star paradigm as Gmail?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Legitimate Governmental Issues

My once-and-present roommate, Jaysix Usaustin, sent me this email at work yesterday:

According to CNN, these constitute all of the election issues:

I've divided them into categories based on my own criteria and color coded them across categories, based on current popular conception of the issues.

Red =           fear-based
Green =         entitlement-based
Blue =          religiously-based
Black =         legitimate governmental issue, 
                regardless of circumstance

Same-sex Marriage
Stem Cell Research

Health Care
Social Security

Homeland Security

Economic Stimulus
Free Trade


Circa Now